Tanzanian president, John Pombe Magufuli, has only been in office for just over a year and has already achieved more than many presidents have in an entire term. While there are some African leaders that have achieved some remarkable goals, Magufuli is changing the country by ‘pushing the reset button’.
“My government will put emphasis on fighting corruption, job creation and industrialisation.” President John Pombe Magufuli
1. Cancelled independence celebrations
Just a month after president Magufuli was sworn in as president he caused controversy by cancelling independence day celebrations saying,
“it’s shameful we’re spending money to celebrate independence when our people are dying of cholera”
so instead of spending money on celebrations, Magufuli asked everyone to help clean the streets in order to stop the spreading of cholera, he even picked up a broom himself and helped clean the city.
2. Bans all all foreign travels for senior government officials
Saturday 21st November a group of 50 government officials were supposed to go on a tour of commonwealth countries but president Magufuli cut the list down to 4 people, saving the government 600m shillings in tickets, accommodation and per diem.
“Unless there is an urgent undertaking abroad one could be allowed to travel after getting permission from the President or the Chief Secretary,”
President Magufuli ordered that all tasks that necessitated government official to travel abroad will now be done by the country’s high commissioners and ambassadors abroad.
He also stated that government official will no longer be allowed to travel in first class or business class with the exception of the President, vice president and prime minister.
4 government officials have beef fired for ignoring the travel ban.
3. Magufuli goes to hospital
President Magufuli made a suprise visit to Muhimbili Hospital. Upon his arrival he decided to visit the back entrance that usually remains hidden from government officials. While walking through the back door, he saw patients sleeping on the floor and also noticed that most of the equipment did not work. Immediately after his visit he fired the director of the hospital and all the hospital board members. All the machines and equipment that was broken had to be repaired within two weeks, if that demand was not met the newly appointed director would also be fired. All equipment was repaired within 3 days.
Apparently doctors knew that the equipment was not working but instead of repairing them, they would refer patients to their own private hospitals where the doctors worked part time.
4. Cuts state dinners budget
A state dinner planned for the opening of parliament was going to cost 300m shillings. President Magufuli cut the budget down to 25m shilling and ordered the rest be taken to buy 300 news beds and mattresses and over 600 bedsheets for the Muhimbili hospital.
5. Everybody must pay taxes
The days of tax evasion in Tanzania are over as Magufuli says no more tax exemptions for big companies, everybody must pay taxes.
The presidency made this statement, “The president has instructed the Tanzania Revenue Authority … to step up revenue collection from large tax payers and curb tax evasion without fear or favor,”
This measure is aimed at raising money to finance the government’s plan of providing primary and secondary education to all Tanzanian children free of charge.
6. Revive privatized industries
All individuals/firms that bought state companies, such as public farms and factories, that were privatized but have not done anything (20 years later) are to revive the industries immediately or hand them back to the government.
A report by an auditing firm (CHC) revealed that of the 170 privatized firms, 42 were making a profit and 70 were making loss while 58 were not operating at all.
7. He chose a female vice president
President Magufuli suprised everyone when he chose a female vice president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, the first female vice president in Tanzania. He also appointed a prime minister that nobody had heard about because he had a reputation for hard work and no corruption, Kassim Majaliwa.
8. Keeping his promises
President Magufuli had promised the Tanzanian people that he would fight corruption and wasteful spending. After being sworn in as the countries new president he proved to everyone that he was a man of integrity but keeping his promises and more!
President John Magufuli still has a long and sometimes lonely road ahead to fight corruption while bringing Tanzania to its full glory. So far he has proven to be someone to look up to, lets hope his character rubs off on other African leaders that are also doing their best to fight corruption and poverty.
Oh and here is a picture of him doing push-ups to prove he is fit to lead a country.